National covid lockdown to end but tiers to be toughened

By Barrie Hudson - 23 November 2020


Pub closing at 11pm and a stricter tier system are among the new anti-covid measures announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a televised statement to the Commons.

"Without sensible precautions we would risk the virus escalating into a winter or New Year surge." he said.
"The incidence of the disease is, alas, still widespread in many areas.
"While the previous local tiers did cut the number and cut the R Number they were not quite enough to reduce it below one, so the scientific advice, I'm afraid, is that as we come out our tiers need to be made tougher."
The main new measures are: 
- National restrictions will end on 2 December and not be renewed
- In Tier 1, people should work from home wherever possible
- In Tier 2, alcohol may only be served in hospitality settings as part of a substantial meal
-In Tier 3, indoor entertainment, hotels and other accommodation will have to close, along with all other forms of hospitality except for delivery and takeaways
- A uniform set of rules will be in place, with no regional negotiations
- In pubs, last orders will be at 10pm with closing at 11pm
- In Tiers 1 and 2, spectator sports and business events will be free to resume inside and outside, with capacity limits and social distancing
- The enforcement ability of local authorities to be strengthened, including specially-trained officers with new powers to close premises deemed a threat to public health
- Tier designations to be announced later this week 
- To allow families to come together at Christmas while minimising risk, the Government is working with devolved administrations on a special time-limited dispensation
The Prime Minister said of the festive season: "I can't say that Christmas will be normal this year, but in a period of adversity time spent with loved ones is even more precious to people of all faiths and none.
"We all want some kind of Christmas, we need it, we certainly feel we deserve it, but what we don't want is to throw caution to the winds and allow the virus to flare up again, forcing us all back into lockdown in January.
The Prime Minister promised that a vaccine would be dispensed as soon as possible, and that rapid testing which gives results in 30 minutes would be rolled out.

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